The developer of the Czech Republic’s Cinovec lithium deposit has been given the green light to launch drilling as part of a definitive feasibility study (DFS) for the project.
European Metals Holdings (EMH) said authorities had approved a total of 13 drill holes for a total drilled length of 3,386 metres.
The decision appears to have removed a cloud that hung over the project earlier this year, when Czech prime minister Andrej Babis (pictured) said the state should control the project and reap the rewards of any future lithium sales to power the expanding EV batteries and electric storage market. But local media reports claim Babis still wants greater state involvement.
However, EMH managing director Keith Coughlan said on 1 October: “It is encouraging to be able to move quickly into the next stage of development. The timing allows us to begin the programme ahead of the winter season and provide an upgrade to the existing resource at Cinovec as part of the DFS.”
The drilling is aimed at converting a sufficient portion of the existing indicated mineral resource (IMR) to the measured resource category to cover the first two years of the scheduled mining plan.
EMH has also started updating a preliminary feasibility study modelling the economics of the production of lithium hydroxide from Cinovec ore.
EMH controls the mineral exploration licences awarded by the Czech state over the Cinovec lithium/tin project through its wholly-owned subsidiary Geomet.
According to EMH, Cinovec “hosts a globally significant hard rock lithium deposit” with an initial probable ore reserve of 34.5Mt @ 0.65% Lithium oxide (Li2O).
This makes Cinovec “the largest lithium deposit in Europe, the fourth largest non-brine deposit in the world and a globally significant tin resource,” EMH said.